Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

For all the negative publicity United Airlines has endured in recent times, there's still an air of solidarity among many of its staff.

They showed it especially when the airline's president, Scott Kirby, tried to foist an embarrassing game-show style bonus scheme upon them. 

No, said many United Flight Attendants, we want to be rewarded as a group, not individually.

This story, though, shows some of the more extreme degrees of that solidarity.

For here is the tale of Newark-based United Flight Attendant Jair Ripoll. 

His doctor told him he had polycystic kidney disease. He needed a new kidney.

What you are supposed to do when something so severe hits?

A couple of Ripoll's co-workers suggested that he do the simple, modern thing and make an appeal on Facebook.

He said that it took just a few seconds for him to get a reply. It came from another United Flight Attendant, Steven Lepine.

"I thought we probably won't be a match but this is something that I can do as a human being. That's the way my parents raised us, to lend a helping hand," Lepine told Good Morning America.

There's lending a helping hand. And there's lending a lifesaving kidney. 

Lepine, though, seems a particularly kind sort. He said he felt "relief" when he heard that his kidney was a match. I'm sure Ripoll must have felt some relief too.

The surgery was so successful that Ripoll is already back at work.

Look around at the people with whom you work. 

How many would do what Lepine did? How many would take the risk of not only responding, but going through with donating a kidney to a co-worker?

Here, for example, it wasn't just that Lepine gave Ripoll a kidney. 

Lepine actually had a few complications after the surgery. He told GMA that several of his fellow Flight Attendants turned up at the hospital and slept by his bed all night.

Yes, some Flight Attendants shouldn't be doing the job at all. Some merely have bad days, even very bad days.

They're often put in difficult positions by their bosses, who, from the bottom of their hearts, care about nothing more than the bottom line.

At heart, though, there's a remarkable humanity lurking inside them. Well, most of them.

Published on: Jul 1, 2018
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